Rose Namajunas’ finger ‘a little stiff,’ still crooked after UFC Paris loss

Former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas’ finger still hasn’t fully healed from her UFC Paris fight against Manon Fiorot.

Namajunas believes she injured her right pinkie finger in the first minute of the fight, and four months later, it’s still a bit crooked.

“I went through a sprint-step right hand,” she said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “But my glove was a little wide.My hand probably was a little loose, too, and my pinky just caught right on her forearm. It just jammed my pinky, and I knew instantly something was wrong.”

Namajunas fought through the pain, even making it worse by punching with her right hand, and switched to a southpaw stance, where she began to find her rhythm before running out of time. Judges all scored the bout for Fiorot, who is now scheduled for a high-stakes showdown with Erin Blanchfield.

“It was funny, because like, by the end of the fight, in the third round, I switched lefty and I started finding my left hand, and I was dropping her,” Namajunas said. “I was like, ‘Oh, man, I wish we had two more rounds.’”

Namajunas is now scheduled to headline a March 30 Fight Night event against Amanda Ribas, continuing on her mission to capture another UFC title at 125 pounds. She opted against surgery despite a jarring reaction from a UFC doctors who examined her hand on two occasions.

“It was crazy because … right after the fight, they set it back in place, and then they basically just said, I think it was, like, six weeks in a splint or whatever. But then it wasn’t until like a month later that I went to see [UFC flyweight] JJ Aldridge fight, and then the doctor was like, ‘Oh, that looks terrible. You’re going to need surgery on that.’

“I got all stressed out about it, and then I ended up seeing a hand specialist, and they said that I didn’t need surgery. The only thing that surgery would really do is just make it a little more straight.”

The problem with that, she added, was that she might not be able to make a fist with her right hand. That was a non-starter.

“As long as I can make a fist, and I can grab with it, and it’s strong … the doc said it’s nothing that you could make stronger. So it’s just like, you just got a little crooked finger. But it’s all all good, which is what I thought in the first place.”

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Namajunas said she babies her injury to avoid making it worse but doesn’t expect it to have any long-term effects on her career. She’s still in the hunt for the flyweight title despite the setback.

“I mean, it’s a little stiff sometimes,” she said. “When I first started back to sparring and whatnot with the MMA gloves, it was definitely something that I was thinking about, making sure I’m placing my hand in the right spot, not hitting elbows or anything. But at this point, I don’t even think about it.”

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